Cassandra at the peak of her insanity.

It’s time for SOLIDARITY, not SURPRISE

It’s been two months since I posted here, although I have new things to rant about every single day. While current events might seem unpredictable, and the bizarre machinations of the Bannon/Trump administration may surprise us, there is really nothing that we couldn’t have generally expected with basic knowledge of how authoritarian kleptocrats work, and by listening to what Trump and Bannon have said themselves.

I keep coming back to the feeling of being Cassandra – cursed to know the future and never be believed. Of course she went insane. I am trying not to follow that path by doing what I can: take care of my physical and mental health, take care of my child, teach him about the real world but also help him grow up to be a happy, healthy, and responsible person, stock up on emergency supplies, and build solidarity with friends and family that we are going to need when The Crisis hits.

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Remember the future

Autocracy: Rules for Survival by Masha Gessen is an absolute must-read. I’ve been coming back to it every few weeks to regain my bearing.

In the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock. This will lead people to call you unreasonable and hysterical, and to accuse you of overreacting. It is no fun to be the only hysterical person in the room. Prepare yourself.



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Don’t count on impeachment

I see a lot of people celebrating already because they think impeachment is imminent. It’s really not. More importantly, I don’t want people to think impeachment would (will?) save us. It’s a continuation of people who keep thinking this can’t happen here or that somehow the Democrats or courts are going to stop it. They’re …

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DrupalCon 2016 group photo - I'm in there somewhere

This beautiful mess we’ve made – the Drupal situation

Last month, a wedge was driven into our community when a long-time contributor was asked to step down from his leadership position, and it is shining a harsh spotlight into problems that have been lingering unaddressed for years. (And we landed on the radar of alt-right trolls including Breitbart!) I hope that one good thing that can come out of this mess is that we are able to look at what didn’t work here and figure out structures that serve both the software and community better. If we have to shut down a few entitled bros along the way, so be it.

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open padlock

If you’re not concerned about your privacy, you’re not paying attention

I don’t know about you, but the past year has been a real wake up call for me about the importance of digital security. I used to think of hackers as bored teenagers showing off for their friends, or scammers sending viruses and spam to people by the millions. But today’s online outlaws are much more sophisticated.

Not content to just blast misleading links at us, elite hackers have started spear phishing. This is a tactic that sends an e-mail to an individual with unique, personalized information making it look very real, and convincing the user to click through to a website where they will enter their login credentials. Some hackers also use social engineering (not technology) to trick people into giving away critical information that can then be leveraged to compromise accounts.

Unfortunately, we need to worry not only about obviously sensitive information like bank accounts and work e-mails, even seemingly inconsequential accounts can be exploited to provide an opening. Once a hacker gains access to any of your accounts, be it iTunes, Etsy, or Pinterest, they can use that information to gain access to other services.

The threat to our privacy is real, and we have seen that there are people who may target us and access our data not just for commercial purposes but for political use. People and organizations that are working for social change have every reason to be concerned about how our personal information, organizational data, and private communications might be used.

Good security is a pain to implement, but every inconvenience for us is an even bigger hassle for a would-be hacker. Start now from wherever you are, and make incremental changes to improve your personal and organizational security.

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"Nixon and Reagan shaking hands:

How Republicans have criminalized political opponents for decades

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with …

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1984

We have always been at war with Eurasia

‘Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, has said Trump will lead a “deconstruction of the administrative state.”’ –  Washington Post: Trump budget expected to seek historic contraction of federal workforce, 3/12/17 Tearing down civil society, safety nets, schools, environmental protection, while adding to the world’s largest military force. They want us tired, hungry, lonely, and …

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“Imagine for a moment having hands on the levers of this world.”

You yourself with the steady brown hands by Kriti Sharma, February 13th, 2017 Imagine for a moment having hands on the levers of this world. Imagine not having to go through extraordinary and psychically costly effort to lovingly and very very carefully persuade someone to put down the gun. Imagine, in a swift and compassionate …

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